Prague Chamber Ballet continues performing in 2019/2020 season

Kytice. Photo Serghei Gherciu.

Kytice. Photo Serghei Gherciu.

Prague Chamber Ballet (PCB), the biggest Czech independent dance body with a history spanning more than fifty years, will not be dissolved (as was announced this June) thanks to an additional subsidy provided by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic. Following lengthy negotiations, which took place in the last couple of months, the Ministry has decided to support the company throughout the year 2019.  The subsidy will also enable PCB to safely enter the upcoming theatre season.

“Despite all the peripeties, the turbulent political situation, and our politicians’ unawareness and ignorance of the dance scene, Prague Chamber Ballet will not close. On the contrary, it’s entering its 55th season this year,” says JUDr. Ivan Dunovský, the founder and intendant of Balet Praha, o.p.s. “After months and months of negotiations between the company’s leaders and the ex-minister of culture Antonín Staněk, we closed the public petition to save Prague Chamber Ballet with more than 5000 signatures. Additionally, I would like to thank all those who have supported us. On social media we received a surprisingly massive support from young people. The decision-making concerning PCB’s future has been impacted by the statements of nineteen theatre experts and dance authorities who sent their letters to the minister of culture.  In June, the minister submitted the PCB issue to the government who decided to back up the company in 2019. Thanks to the Ministry funds, Prague Chamber Ballet will continue performing in the 2019/2020 season.

“We learned about the Ministry’s decision later this summer and immediately started our preparations for the upcoming season, though we were way behind the schedule,” says Ladislava Jandová, the director of Prague Chamber Ballet. Shortly, the company will premiere Petr Zuska’s new choreography Carmina Vetera. This mixed bill inspired by old folk songs will open on 27 October in the Na Vinohradech Theatre, Prague. “Folk songs, poetry and ethnic music in general are like a red thread winding through my work since I started choreographing. For me, they are a big inspiration which I’ll always return to,” says Petr Zuska. “The soirée entitled Carmina Vetera, which means Old Songs, is only a fraction of that ‘red thread’. More precisely, the choreographies ‘Ej Lásko’, ‘Lyrická’ and ‘Růže’ were created between 2008 – 2010 for various companies and occasions. The brand-new female solo ‘FO(U)R ONE’ will have its world premiere.”

Petr Zuska, who is to become PCB’s resident choreographer this season, has created a successful ballet Kytice (A Bouquet of Czech Folktales) for the company this year. PCB plans to give five more performances by the end of 2019. Linda Svidró has been appointed artistic director, starting in the 2019/2020 season. She is currently a ballet mistress and assistant choreographer, working closely with PCB since 2017. “I appreciate that expert dance public supported the company until the last moments and I’m glad we can enter the new season with pride,” says Svidró. “I also think much of my colleagues, who remained loyal to the company in the hard times: especially the head of PCB, company members – dancers and the Dance Centre Prague students. We are all looking forward to more runs of Petr Zuska’s A Bouquet of Czech Folktales, but also the new premiere, coming up in October.”

"The fact that PCB will continue performing makes us even happier as this year we remember the 55th anniversary of the foundation of Studio Balet Praha, the direct predecessor of Prague Chamber Ballet. The ensemble was set up in 1964 by the legendary trio of artists: Pavel Šmok, Vladimír Vašut and Luboš Ogoun,” explains Jandová. “This year’s special subsidy provided by the Ministry of Culture is a positive thing, despite all the hardships and long waiting. However, the future of PCB is still hazy. Can we rely on public support in 2020 and the next years? We don’t know, unfortunately. Financial insecurity affects our day-to-day existence and decision-making in all spheres of the company’s life. Dramaturgy-wise, long-term planning is vital. I wish one day we found ourselves in a situation in which we could focus on professional and specialized work and felt not need to fight for bare existence on a daily basis.”

Source: Prague Chamber Ballet

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